How much media do you see in a single day?
God knows there’s more than ever being produced.
In the next 24 hours, for example, the New York Times will write more than 700 stories, the Huffington Post will post 1,200, Forbes and BuzzFeed will generate 300 to 400 and Slate another 60.
Of course, this is just the smallest sip from the fire hose. Throw in, say, YouTube, and you’ve got 144,000 hours of new video to watch every day.
How do we sift through this onslaught of news and information? Largely by using social media.
People now routinely cull through their favorite sites for photographs and bits of news, then post them online.
Collectively, we’ve pinned more than 30 billion items on Pinterest, shared a staggering 400 billion photos on Facebook and tweeted more than 300 billion times so far.
Jolie Gabor (mother of actresses Eva, Zsa Zsa and Magda) scrapbooking in the 1950s. (Bettmann / CORBIS)
Cutting, pasting, collating: This feels like a new behavior, a desperate attempt to cope with a radical case of information overload.
But it’s actually a quite venerable urge.
Indeed, back in the 19th century we had a similarly intense media barrage, and we used a very similar technology to handle it: